Recreation and Tourism
Section 2.7.
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SSTO Program Balance Sheet

About that SSTO a consortium of Japanese companies is proposing: They're talking about a 2-orbit flight for $20,000. This table is from one of their papers on the subject:

    Number of vehicles produced                  50
    Price per vehicle                   $ 1 billion
    Trips per year                              300
    Useful lifetime of spacecraft                10

    Per vehicle, per trip:
       Amortization cost                  $ 430,000
       Fuel                                 160,000
       Miscellaneous costs                  200,000
           Total                          $ 790,000 per flight

       Passengers per flight                     50
       Cost per passenger                 $  15,800
       Passengers per year                  750,000
       Gross revenues per year         $ 12 billion

The money figures were translated from Yen to Dollars using a factor of 100 Yen to the dollar. Amortization cost is based on 5% per year cost of capital in Japan; which is reasonable in their market. These numbers assume a fleet of 50 vehicles, each making a 2-orbit trip (about 2 hours in orbit), 300 days a year. In other words, a typical small airline operation in terms of operations. Each vehicle would make 3,000 trips in its design lifetime; this is typical for big airplanes.

The titles at the end of the chart are a bit confusing. They're talking about a ticket price of $20,000, so let's look at it again with that in mind:

       Price per passenger                $  20,000
       Cost per passenger                 $  15,800
       Profit per passenger                   4,200
       Passengers per year                  750,000
       Gross revenues per year         $ 15 billion
       Total cost per year               12 billion
       Net profit per year                3 billion

Give an initial investment of $50 billion and an income of $15 billion per year for 10 years, IRR = 27%. Not too shabby, if you happen to have $50 billion lying around.

According to Tom Rogers, the Japanese companies involved are:

Reference - P. Collins, T. Akiyama, I. Shraishi, and T. Nagase: "Services Expected for the First Phase of Space Tourism"; ISTS 94-g-25p.

Recreation and Tourism

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